The James Chicago Rating: 4.5 Pearls
River North, Chicago, Illinois

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Great central location in Chicago near the Magnificent Mile
  • Crisp and modern rooms with flat-screen TVs and comfortable beds
  • Impressively stocked minibars (wide selection of drinks and snacks)
  • Well-equipped fitness center and business center
  • Excellent restaurant, David Burke's Primehouse, and bar
  • Free car service within central business district
  • Art exhibits held in the hotel
  • Pets are welcome

Cons

  • Not all rooms have tubs and some bathrooms are quite small
  • Most rooms have no view
  • Pricey parking

Bottom Line

The James is one of Chicago's top luxury hotels, and is located in River North, a block from the Magnificent Mile. The public spaces are modern and sometimes quirky, while the 297 rooms are crisp and clean. They're minimally decorated without being stark, and some have clever design to maximize space, as well as big flat-screen TVs, impressively stocked minibars, and comfortable beds. Bathrooms are modern and minimalist too, but not all have tubs and some are on the small side. In addition to a well-equipped fitness room, the James also has two art galleries along with art and sculpture present throughout the lobby. The hotel is also home to the excellent restaurant, David Burke's Primehouse, and the Primehouse Bar. Appealing hotel extras include a free car service, which can come in handy as parking is quite pricey.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Location

Centrally located near the Magnificent Mile

The James is just a few minutes' walk from The Magnificent Mile, otherwise known as Michigan Avenue (or Chicago's Fifth Avenue). It is within walking distance of many cultural hot spots in Chicago and just four blocks from Grand Red subway station.

The Magnificent Mile, an iconic stretch of North Michigan Avenue, is the heart of Chicago's upscale shopping district. World-class hotels and boutiques cram both sides of this broad avenue, sandwiched between posh Streeterville and River North. But it is not all about department stores here. Galleries, landmarks -- such as the Water Tower, the John Hancock Observatory, the Pumping Station, and Wrigley Building -- and top-notch restaurants abound.

  • 26-minute drive to Chicago O'Hare International Airport
  • 5 minute walk to various shops and restaurants on Michigan Avenue
  • 7-minute walk to Wrigley Building
  • 9-minute walk to the Museum of Contemporary Art
  • 11-minute walk to John Hancock Observatory
  • 5-minute drive to the Art Institute of Chicago
  • 6-minute drive to Grant Park
  • 6-minute drive to The Loop business district
  • 10-minute drive to Lincoln Park

 Physical Activities

Personal trainers and customized guided runs through the city highlights, plus a name-brand fitness center

Fitness Center at The James Chicago
Fitness Center at The James Chicago
  • 24-hour, 2,500-square-foot fitness center by the founder of high-end fitness centers Equinox, Danny Errico, with cardio and strength equipment
  • Jim Karas personal trainers available at the gym
  • Customized guided 4.5-mile running tours through the city
  • Private, in-room yoga lessons with a Lululemon trainer for Apartment Suites or Penthouse Lofts guests

 Services

Everything from 24-hour concierges to in-room bartenders and free car service

Business Center at The James Chicago
Business Center at The James Chicago
  • 24-hour concierge
  • 24-hour room service provided by David Burke’s Primehouse
  • Warm towel with lemongrass upon checking in
  • 24-hour business center with video conferencing facilities and remote printing
  • Twice-daily housekeeping with turndown service
  • Valet parking for a nightly fee
  • Adult and child-size bikes available on request
  • Free car service to offices, shopping and attractions in the central business district; available upon request and based on availability
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel
  • In-room bartender service available; private, in-room mixology lessons upon request

 Bottom Line

The James is one of Chicago's top luxury hotels, and is located in River North, a block from the Magnificent Mile. The public spaces are modern and sometimes quirky, while the 297 rooms are crisp and clean. They're minimally decorated without being stark, and some have clever design to maximize space, as well as big flat-screen TVs, impressively stocked minibars, and comfortable beds. Bathrooms are modern and minimalist too, but not all have tubs and some are on the small side. In addition to a well-equipped fitness room, the James also has two art galleries along with art and sculpture present throughout the lobby. The hotel is also home to the excellent restaurant, David Burke's Primehouse, and the Primehouse Bar. Appealing hotel extras include a free car service, which can come in handy as parking is quite pricey.

Things You Should Know About The James Chicago

Address

  • 55 E. Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611

Room Types

  • Apartment Suite
  • Deluxe Guestroom
  • Guestroom
  • Loft Suite
  • Studio Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 297
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: River North, Chicago
Address: 55 E. Ontario St, Chicago, IL 60611
(See Map)
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